Transformational Travel: Discovering Yourself By Discovering The World

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Transformational Travel: Discovering Yourself By Discovering The World

Transformational Travel: Discovering yourself and discovering the world through exploration

I remember when I first started traveling internationally. The only transfers I was concerned with were the ones that took place at airports. Somewhere along the lines though, I realized that in discovering the world, I grew and learned more about myself than I had ever imagined. This realization lead me to look deeper into the meaning of transformational travel.

How can travel be used as a means toward discovering yourself?


Transformational Travel: Discovering the world through people

transformational travel: nizwa market

Some local shoppers I met randomly at the weekend market in Nizwa, Oman

In my series Local Faces, Local Lives, I look at regular, everyday people I have come across during my travels. So often do we get caught up in the hysteria of getting that perfect selfie, that self becomes the focus travel. Technology takes precedence and little to no attention is given to individuals encountered along the journey.

Gstaad Cow Parade

Local farmers bringing down their cows in Gstaad, Switzerland during the Zuglete–an annual Cow Parade

Transformational Travel Challenge 1. Next time you travel abroad, spark up a conversation with a local. Find out about their life, their family, likes/dislikes, and just show a general interest beyond the basic, “Can you take this photo for me?” You never know what may evolve from the interaction.


Transformational Travel: Discovering the world through service

Transformational travel: Mountain village

Picking sweet potatoes in a rural, mountain village in West Japan

What better way to leave your personal bookmark on this planet, than by going out and helping a community in need. As little as one hour of service can enhance a lifetime. Whether volunteering at a school, on a farm, at an orphanage, or some other organization—the benefits of serving others have a profound impact on all parties involved. Organizations such as Projects Abroad, Globe Aware, Volunteer World, WWOOF, and several others make this option easier than ever. For those more inclined to have a DIY volunteer experience, the people you meet from Transformational Travel Challenge 1 can possibly help facilitate that for you. Taking it one step further, organizations such as Charity Water allow you to impact a community from the comforts of your own home.

Transformational travel: Preschool Visit

A preschool visit in Japan…not far from the village mentioned above

Transformational Travel Challenge 2. Dedicate a portion of your next vacation to some form of service to the residents of your chosen destination.

Transformational Travel: Discovering the world through exploration

Truly discovering yourself through travel can only occur if you are willing to become lost in the world.

During the late summer of 2017, I embarked on a journey I dubbed, The Fitcation. Unhappy with weight gain, I took a vacation with the sole purpose to get fit and disconnect from the world. We all need to unplug from time to time. The power of disconnecting through travel is that it fully removes us from all distractions.

Transformational travel: Exploring Gondar, Ethiopia

Exploring the castles of Gondar, Ethiopia. Also known as the “African Camelot”

In exploring new parts of the world, we also discover new and untapped areas of our soul.

Transformational Travel Challenge 3. Step outside of your comfort zone and venture to a place completely foreign. Remain open-minded and receptive to whatever the experience may bring.


In the comments below, share any transformational travel experience you’ve had in the past.


  1. Kasi says:

    These are some great travel suggestions to really get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, while helping and connecting with others. You’ve had some great experiences!

  2. Keki Cannon says:

    amazing experience you were able to have. Travel is the best classroom and being fortunate enough to see the world is such a blessing

  3. Joyce Brewer says:

    Traveling as a family allows us to see things through each person’s perspective. Our 7-year-old has a passport thanks to our Caribbean cruise. I’d love to take him to see more of the world.

  4. Angela says:

    So much great discovering happening. I love when people go out and see the world.

  5. Kiwi says:

    Great travel points to make for a better traveler. So many people are just traveling for photo ops but yes talk to locals…go outside of the tourist areas and beach and do some soul searching (safely) in another country.

  6. Nina says:

    Travel can be really cool when you really challenge yourself. Too many people just stick to the tourist traps to say they’ve been to a place. That is never something I want to do.

  7. Blair villanueva says:

    This is a kind of travel that we should be promoting, and yeah influencers too should promote transformative travel. Through this, it break barriers of communication between guests and locals, and build bridges for more opportunities, and friendships.

  8. Michelle Thames says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I want to travel more. This definitely looked like a life changing experience.

  9. Khushboo says:

    You have introduced such a beautiful concept of transformational travel. Meeting new people and new cultures is the best way to expand your horizons 🙂

  10. Mira says:

    Very unique perspective. I love discovering the world through people. Interacting with native people truly makes one feel like a traveler, not just a tourist.

  11. I loved this! Each challenge is an awesome opportunity and will totally change how we look at travel!

  12. Cat says:

    Travel can do so much for the soul! Seeing new places and submerging ourselves in different cultures helps us be better, happier people!

  13. Jay Colby says:

    Traveling the world is always a good way to learn new things. The idea of Transformational Travel is something we should all try.

  14. Hey, the first pic is my city Nizwa! Can’t believe I missed you when you were in Oman lol. I’m a firm believer in this notion though. One of my mottos is we find ourselves through our travels great post!

  15. When my other half and I travel, he is constantly chatting it up with locals. I am far more introverted for that, but he always seems to learn the ins and outs of where we are, restaurant recommendations, and hookups. I also love the concept of a Fitcation, and stepping away from the familiarities of home in order to clear the head and work on becoming a better you.

  16. No one in my family has ever traveled over seas. My mom went to the Bahamas once… It is my goal to be a bit of a globetrotter. 🙂

  17. Ruthie Ridley says:

    I want to do more international travel, especially with my kids!!

  18. I love how you entitled each experience you had in your travels, really nice. discovering the world through the people and service are the best to read.

  19. Stacie says:

    I love the idea of getting lost in the world of international travel. I bet it’s an amazing experience for all that do it!

  20. Karen Akpan says:

    This is a great post as it outlines sooo many ways to discover the world. I can proud to say my family and I have been able to discover the world through people and through exploration. However, we are lacking in the service area. I plan on this when my youngest turns 5. Taking a service based trip.

  21. I need to travel more. You learn so much and I love learning through doing. Seems very eye-opening.

  22. emma white says:

    I found this so true when I was sat alone on the beach on Bondi Beach, I’m from the UK a very small town and here I was surrounded by thousands of people it really was eye opening and transformed my life for sure

  23. Sarah says:

    I agree, when I finished school instead of going to Schoolies with all my friends my mum took my sister and I to work in a remote Solomon island community. It was our first overseas trip and it helped me release what person I wanted to be as an adult.

  24. Ada says:

    Traveling is one of my favorite ways to immerse myself in different cultures.

  25. Ali Rost says:

    Your post hits so close to home. For forty years, my grandparents were missionaries and traveled the world. The longest time they spent in one place was seventeen years in Ethiopia. If it wasn’t for their spirit of service they would never have lived in such amazing places around the world or met so many beautiful souls along the way. x

  26. I love the idea of transformational travel and being able to immerse myself in a world where I am unplugged from reality sounds like the sort of vacation that I could really use right now! I want to get lost in a place that I would not originally consider so that I can step outside of my comfort zone !

  27. Sarah Bailey says:

    I love the fact you look at local people and see what it really is like to live everywhere you visit. I bet it is so eye-opening seeing all the differences around the world.

  28. These are great ideas! I know I get caught up in my own experience a lot when I travel. I’ll use these tips to get the most out of my next trip.a

  29. tara pittman says:

    What a great way to travel. I bet it was life changing for you.

  30. These are all great ways to discover yourself. I especially love how you mention discovering yourself by discovering people, that is such a great way to change the way you are.

  31. What wonderful experiences you’ve had. It’s no wonder you’ve been transformed.

  32. GiGi Eats says:

    THIS IS WHY I LOVE TO TRAVEL SO MUCH!!!! It teaches me so much about myself while also teaching and showing me cultures in other countries! I just got back from Africa and it was such a different way of life and loved experiencing it!

  33. Bianca says:

    Travelling can truly do amazing stuff in your life. One of which is rediscovering yourself. Not only you meet beautiful people, you will also learn how their culture can shape you.

  34. Mommy Jhy says:

    I agree with “What better way to leave your personal bookmark on this planet, than by going out and helping a community in need.” I also have my own advocacy – by educating people of Financial Literacy.

  35. Shameem Reza says:

    Discovering the world through service is probably an awesome idea to travel the world. Normally I visit different countries on purpose like either to attend meeting or passing vacation, but thanks for sharing some excellent ideas.

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